The Servant (Losey, 1963)

The Servant (Joseph Losey, 1963)

Wow, what to say. This was a much more strange experience than I thought it was going to be. A wealthy man hires a servant who seems innocent enough. Over time, he basically unlatches an ultimate con job on him, and things get really trippy. I can definitely see the merit in a lot of this film. First, Losey knows how to set up a shot. The framing, use of close-up and dramatic lighting, and long intricate takes are all top-notch. This was a beautiful aesthetic experience. Second, this film’s atmosphere is like no other film I’ve seen. Even at the start of the film when the man and his servant’s relationship is presented in a normal fashion, something does not feel right. And as the servant begins manipulating the man, I couldn’t help but feel unsurprised. Dirk Bogarde and James Fox do great jobs making this odd, almost parasitic relationship work. I’m still pondering this film, and it will likely sit with me for a while.  8.5/10

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5 Responses to “The Servant (Losey, 1963)”

  1. This is a stunning film — at the atmosphere is so uncanny. Definitely Losey’s best…

  2. The only other Losey film I’ve seen is ‘Mr Klein’ (1976). It was ok — pretty average actually.

    • chrisfilm Says:

      I’ve heard Accident and The Go-Between are also awesome.

      By the way, with your tastes in movies, you should come to thelifecinematic.com/board sometime. It’s a pretty rad, albeit strange community of film fanatics. We have a ball, share ideas, and mostly goof off.

  3. Yes, one can stream The Go-Between on netflix… I’ll watch it soon.

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